Larry Bird Vs Lebron James Who is Better Player 2022

What Is Difference Of Larry Bird Vs Lebron James: Who is Better Player 2022

In this blog, we will compare the introductions of  Larry Bird vs LeBron James. Both players are considered to be among the greatest of all time, so it will be interesting to see how their careers got started. We will look at their rookie seasons, their first All-Star appearances, and their first championship wins.

Let’s find out with RedsArmy…

LeBron James vs. Larry Bird

larry bird stats vs lebron

Bird and James are two of the finest players in history. It’s impossible to compare the two stars because they played in separate periods. Bird grew up in a more physical age when basketball was a whole different game. Teams worked the ball inside to genuine centers who played back-to-the-rim basketball. James is playing in a more open era when the three-point shooting reigns supreme.

Bird was a three-time MVP, earning the award three years in a row from 1984 to 1986. During his second season, he led the Boston Celtics to their first of three titles. He was named Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds while leading the club to a 61-win season.

Bird spent his entire 13-year career with the Celtics, finishing with 24.3 points and 10.0 rebounds. Bird was a 12-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive Team member. His passing abilities and court awareness aided him in making everyone around him better. In 1998, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

At the age of 37, James is still averaging 28.9 points and 8.0 rebounds. He’s a four-time NBA champion and MVP. He is on his 19th season in the league and is now playing for his third team.

James is a significantly more talented athlete who has outperformed Bird. He ranks third all-time in scoring, after only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. Except for his first year, James has been an All-Star every season and has been named to the All-Defensive Team six times.

In their peak, ‘Mad Dog‘ prefers Larry Bird to LeBron James.

Biographical information

Lebron James Larry Bird
Draft Pick 1st 6th
DOB 30th Dec 1984 17th Dec 1956
Weight 113kg (250 LB 100 kg (220 LB)
Position Small Forward Small/Power Forward
Years active 2003-Present 1979-1992
Number 23 33
Height 6’8 6’9

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected LeBron James first overall in 2003. James was just eighteen years old when he graduated from high school, and he had a lot of expectations and buzz about him. He easily lived up to all of the hype, scoring 27 points and grabbing 8 rebounds in his debut against the Sacremento Kings.

Larry Bird was picked sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978 before returning to college for one more year. He was named Rookie of the Year and guided a subpar club to the playoffs in his first year in the league. Bird usually played small forward and is regarded as one of the greatest in the position. He was, without a doubt, the best clutch player of his period.

NBA Seasons and Championships

Lebron James Larry Bird
Championships 3( 12, 13,16) 3( 81, 84, 86)
NBA Seasons 15 13
  Playofff played 14 12
  All star games 14 12

James and Bird each have three titles. Bird just needed two seasons to acquire his first ring, whereas James needed nine seasons to obtain his first ring. However, James has a few more years under his belt, and the way he is playing, he has a good chance of winning at least one more title.

NBA Seasons and Championships

In addition, James has two more seasons under his belt than Bird. While James is defying the odds and aging like fine wine, Bird, on the other hand, suffered with several injuries during his final seasons in the NBA. We’ll never know if Bird had been healthy and injury-free during his final few seasons.

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In addition, James has more All-Star selections than Bird. But, considering Bird was an All-Star in 12 of his 13 NBA seasons, missing out in his debut year is rather outstanding.

 Honors and Awards

Lebron James Larry Bird
Season MVP 4 3
Final MVP 3 2
  All NBA 1st Team 12 9
All defensive 1st Team 5
All defensive team selections 6 3
Scoring Champ 1
Rookie of the year 1 1
  Steals leader
Defensive player of the year
Hall of fame yes yes

Both players play the same position and have equal stats in most facets of the game except defense. James is an outstanding defender, whereas Bird was not. Bird wasn’t a poor defender, as seen by his three All-Defensive Team choices, but he’s nowhere near James’ level. LeBron has five All-Defensive First Team honors to Larry’s none.

Both players were extremely good scorers, averaging more than 22 points per game in their careers, but they never had to carry the offensive burden of the team because they played with multiple All-stars except in 2008 and 2018 (current season), when James literally had to carry the entire team on his back.

Per-game statistics

Lebron James Larry Bird
Regular season Regular season
Points per game 27.2 24.3
Rebounds per game 7.3 10
Assists per game 7.3 6.3
Steals per game 1.6 1.7
Locks per game 0.8 0.8
Playoffs Playoffs
Points per game 28.9 23.8
Rebounds per game 8.9 10.3
Assists per game   7.1 6.5
Steals per game 1.8 1.8
Locks per game 1 0.9

LeBron James leads Larry Bird in points per game in both the regular season and the playoffs. Larry has 3.7 more rebounds than James. James had more assists than Bird, but given that James is primarily a point guard for his team, he is going to have more assists. Bird averaged 6.3 assists per game over his career, which is quite impressive for a small forward/power forward.

When it comes to thefts and blocks, both Bird and James have the same stats. James holds scoring and assists advantage over Bird, averaging 27.2 points and 7.3 assists per game during the regular season and 28.9 points and 7.1 assists per game during the playoffs. Bird, on the other hand, has an advantage in rebounding, averaging 10 rebounds per game during the regular season and 10.3 rebounds per game during the playoffs.

Performance statistics- Totals

larry bird vs lebron

It is well known that LeBron James is a super-athlete, which has allowed him to be the best player in the world at an age when most players retire. He leads Bird in all statistical categories in both the regular season and the playoffs. And, given LeBron’s longevity, by the time he retires, he may have surpassed Kareen Abdul-Jabbar for the most career points in NBA history. James has already shattered multiple all-time regular season and postseason marks.

However, when it comes to Bird, he was able to record all of these records while playing 144 fewer playoff games than James and 246 fewer regular season games, which is extremely astounding. His injuries and LeBron’s longevity both contributed significantly to his career being cut short.

Shooting Percentages

Shooting Percentages

Bird was a better shooter than the King, which is why he had a higher 3-point % and free throw percentage, but in the 1980s, 3-point range didn’t have as much of an impact on the game as it does now. As a result, the amount of 3-point attempts used to be lower.

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In terms of efficiency, both players took the most efficient shots, but James has a little advantage over Bird since most of his shot attempts come from driving into the lane for layups and dunks. LeBron James has generally been a poor free throw shooter, and his effectiveness from the charity stripe has declined this season. Bird, on the other hand, has always been incredibly efficient from the free throw line, coveringt 89% of his attempts.

Earnings

bird vs lebron

The Boston Celtics legend’s net worth is estimated to be over 45 million dollars. His overall earnings as a player were 26 million dollars. This is certainly pitiful in comparison to what players earn now, but we must remember that the wage ceiling was limited in the 1980s, and the NBA was not as wealthy as it is today. Even role players nowadays make more than Bird did throughout his whole career.

Don’t get me wrong: Bird was once among the highest-paid players of his time, so comparing the two wage caps would be unfair.

In 2018, James was the world’s sixth most paid athlete. His annual salary is 33 million dollars, and he also gets 52 million dollars from sponsorships and shoe agreements, bringing his net worth to 85 million dollars this year. His shoe line is the second best-selling after Jordans.

Why Larry Bird Was Better Than LeBron

Why Larry Bird Was Better Than LeBron

Larry Bird was statistically better than LeBron James in every significant category at 30 years old. Bird also earned the MVP Award that season. Last year, LeBron finished third in MVP voting behind Steph Curry and James Harden. Although it is only one season, Bird’s career stats demonstrate that he is on par with, if not better than, Bron Bron.

In fact, no player in NBA history (including Jordan) has more metrics in common with LeBron than Larry Legend. LeBron’s regular season field goal %, steals per game, and blocks per game are all the same as Bird’s, and he only averages 0.2 more assists. Bird also had three more rebounds per game than LeBron, as well as less turnovers. Here are their regular-season numbers. The red shows who has the higher number.

Regular Season: 

LeBron:

  • 27.3 PPG
  • 49.6 FG%
  • 6.9 AST
  • 7.1 REB
  • 1.7 STL
  • 0.8 BLK
  • 3.4 Turnovers

Bird:

  • 24.3 PPG
  • 49.6 FG%
  • 6.7 AST
  • 10 REB
  • 1.7 STL
  • 0.8 BLK
  • 3.1 Turnovers

Their playoff stats reflect comparable outcomes, with LeBron edging Bird by 0.1% in field goal percentage and Bird averaging 0.1 more thefts than LeBron. Again, there’s just a 0.2 assist difference, and their block numbers are identical. In the playoffs, Bird’s rebounding and turnover percentages continue to outperform LeBron’s.

larry bird playoff stats

Postseason:

LeBron:

  • 28.2 PPG
  • 47.3 FG%
  • 6.7 AST
  • 8.8 REB
  • 1.7 STL
  • 0.9 BLK
  • 3.5 Turnovers

Bird:

  • 23.8 PPG
  • 47.2 FG%
  • 6.5 AST
  • 10.3 REB
  • 1.8 STL
  • 0.9 BLK
  • 3.1 Turnovers

When you combine all of these parallels with the fact that they both play the same position (SF), it’s difficult to see why LeBron gets so many comparisons to Michael Jordan. Sure, LeBron is the finest all-around player in the game today, but how he gets the privilege of being included with the greatest of all time is beyond me.

Jordan was a shooting guard, therefore his game was a little different. He was undoubtedly a more aggressive scorer. His points per game average and field goal % were greater than LeBron’s, especially in the playoffs. Michael Jordan won ten scoring titles in his 15 years in the NBA, but LeBron has only one in his 12 years.

Jordan was also a greater defensive player than LeBron, having been chosen to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, leading the league in steals three times, and won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988.

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LeBron has been chosen to the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times, yet he has never won Defensive Player of the Year or led the league in any defensive statistic (neither did Larry Bird). Bird, Jordan, and James all have the same blocks per game average in both the regular season and the playoffs.

LeBron James playoff stats

LeBron, on the other hand, has a definite advantage over Jordan in rebounds and assists, something he does not have when matched up with Bird. This is due to LeBron’s and Bird’s respective heights of 6’8″ and 6’9″. Michael Jordan was a 6’6″ shooting guard, similar to Kobe Bryant, the guy who should be getting the greatest comparisons to MJ.

Jordan may outperform Kobe in almost every category, but their rebound (MJ 6.2, Kobe 5.3) and assist stats (MJ 5.3, Kobe 4.8) are comparable to LeBron’s (7.1 Reb, 6.9 Ast). That’s because their stature and playing style are uncannily similar. Jordan practically invented Kobe.

He established the benchmark for how to be a dominating shooting guard in the NBA, and Kobe admittedly based his game after him and tried his hardest to fill his shoes. After getting within one championship ring of Jordan’s total, being named to the same number of All-Defensive First Teams (9), and being named to more All-Star teams (17), I’d say he’s done a very decent job.

Larry Bird was a more important overall player, leader, and clutch shot than LeBron James has ever been. And, in my perspective, the same can be said of MJ and Kobe. I’m not saying LeBron isn’t clutch because he’s proven that idea over the previous several years, but he’s also folded in huge situations more than these other three icons have.

Players like Bird, MJ, and Kobe possessed a fearlessness for the big moment that was obvious as soon as they joined the league. The was obviously not the case with LeBron at the start of his career, and while he’s managed to grow some balls and make some big shots in recent years, he just doesn’t have that killing instinct that appears to be ingrained in some players’ DNA.

lebron vs bird

I can’t claim his leadership abilities are remarkable because of the number of times he has managed to call his allegiance into doubt. It’s difficult to look at someone as your leader when you’re not sure if they’ll remain around if the team falls short of their objectives. With the exception of MJ’s post-retirement stay with the Wizards, Bird, Jordan, and many other NBA icons did all of their damage with one franchise. Many great players weathered multiple unsuccessful seasons but remained with their team while it rebuilt.

All of this statistical proof, as well as doubts about character and mental strength, is topped off by the reality that, at 30 years old, LeBron James is 2-4 in the NBA Finals. At the same age, Larry Bird was 3-2 (during the Lakers’ Magic/Kareem/Worthy Era), Kobe Bryant was 4-1, and Michael Jordan was 3-0.

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Conclusion

LeBron James and Larry Bird are two of the greatest basketball players of all time. They both have amazing skills and abilities that make them stand out from the rest. LeBron is a physical specimen and an unbelievable athlete, while Larry is one of the best shooters and scorers the game has ever seen. Both players have had great careers and have accomplished a lot.

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